The change of seasons is well known to be high time for colds and flus, and in our busy lives, be it school or work, managing seasonal sickness can be a real hassle. Traditional Chinese medicine has many tools to both strengthen the immune system and to defeat colds and flus, dramatically shortening their durations and allowing you to get back to your life quickly.
Using a combination of herbal formulas and acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine works to regulate the body’s defensive capabilities, strengthening the immune system against pathogenic factors and making the body more resistant to infection by the common cold and other flu viruses. Symptoms are not masked by the effects of herbs and acupuncture as they are with many cold medications, they are resolved.
So if it’s a matter of prevention, a current flu or cold, or even lingering symptoms that just won’t leave, traditional Chinese medicine may have a solution for you.
I was barely there for my first appointment, recovering- or not from the suicide of my son, a vicious car accident, and a world that seemed just to much. Every where I turned the world sucked.
I could barely get on the massage table, it seemed so high, and anxiety, grief and very physical pain was so heavy and heart breaking that even the lightest touch seemed too much. And at first the relief from the massage was only fractional, and lasted just a breath in time.
I went through a couple therapists, nothing seemed right, and then Jill sent Sahira, I am not sure if she was better than anyone else, or I was just ready for her when I met her. But it kept me coming back, more for the emotional support that touch brought, than for the pain relief, but I did feel better, and then better, and then better still.
At first I didn’t even notice, but my husband said he thought it was helping. So I kept going.
Then I noticed that I felt well enough to grocery shop, and then walk the dog. And now I see her only once every couple of months, mostly as a tune up. Which is so much better then 2-3 times a week, like when I started.
No matter what you are facing, a little massage by a therapist who cares can help you through.
You remember seeing all the funny round bruises in the 2016 olympics?
That is cupping, and athletes swear by it, but why and is it for you?
Cupping is a process of attaching cups to the skin and suctioning the skin up into them, sort of like a vacuum. And in fact that is what it feels like, you are attaching a vacuum to your skin.
This works in a couple of ways, it loosens and breaks up knots in muscle tissue allowing the muscle to regain its range of motion, and its power. Especially after very strenuous exercise this can help the muscles recover quicker and reduce pain and stiffness. It also stimulates your immune system so your body will send its army of repair and recovery agents to the site of injury.
You can see why a swimmer like Micheal Phelps, who it seemed was racing every moment would find this beneficial.
But what about you?
Cupping for everyone!
While almost anyone, it is great if you are a little or a lot stiff, or if you have an injury that is stubborn and needs to heal up so you can live your best life. It is not so great for anyone with really fragile skin, so certain cancer patients, older adults and very young children are not recommended.
It’s hard enough to find time for self care. When you get it, make the most of it, here is how.
Control sound- our therapist will bring soft music, but we can’t control your kids or your dog. So booking when your kids are out, at school, or in bed is a good trick. Where is your pet the quietest, in the kennel, basement or sitting on the floor where he can see you? A little prep can make a big difference.
Be in a dark place- for the first part of the massage you will be face down and thats great, however about 2/3’s of the way through when you turn over you want to stay in a place of Zen. Dark is good.
Are you worried about things? 15 min before we come spend 5-10 min and write it all down, this assures your subconscious mind it is taken care of and it can let those worries go.
Complicated problem? Write it down too- and then ask your subconscious to find an elegant and easy solution. Don’t think about it and just relax, you will be amazed how often this works and a solution appears like magic, maybe not during your massage but within a day or two a solution is so obvious and fully formed that you can’t believe you had a problem to begin with.
Count your blessings- I do this on nights that sleep is elusive, starting with A list everything and everyone you are grateful for.
Try a meditation or guided imagery instead of music- I usually do this and love it.
Rose Otto or Rose Absolute what is the difference and do you care?
Whether you are a hippy like me, or really into things that smell pretty you may have some questions about Rose “essential” oils.
Essentially you will find three products out there-if you look hard enough. You will find Rose absolute, or Rose Otto- and more commonly you will find these in a carrier oil.
This is what you want to know.
Rose Otto Essential Oil
It takes 10,000 roses to produce just 5ml of pure Rose Otto, which is why if you do find it it is super expensive. Way more common is to find it in at 3-10% rose oil, in a base oil like Jojoba. In Calgary the Apothecary in Inglewood carries it. Starting at 68$ for a 1 ml bottle.
Benefits for Skin Care and use in Facials
Rose Otto is one of those ingredients used in skin care that is beneficial for every skin type as it is –
Acne-preventing, due to its antiseptic qualities
Balancing- so great for combination skin
Anti-aging as it tightens the skin and adds skin tone
Rejuvenating, stimulating, and harmonizing
Rose has been shown to be useful for a huge variety of physical complaints as well including stomach, bronchial issues, muscle sprains and menopause, and many more causing it to earn the name “queen of all essential oils”
For stress and anxiety its effectiveness is undisputed, helping tame a wide range of disorders and side effects. It helps induce sleep, decrease depression, lessen grief, anger and jealousy. Rose Otto helps the body detox and stay balanced while recovering from any type of drug use, whether prescription or otherwise.
We use it in our couples “Rose Ritual” which you can of course do for one person,( it is an amazing treatment) because it enhances feelings of romance, connection and can have a positive effect on attraction, which is just all round a good thing.
How it is made
The difference between Rose Otto and Rose absolute is how it is made and how it is used.
Rose Otto is a steam distilled product- and is a purer scent but also this process uses way, way more roses to reach the final product, but that product keeps in tac the many benefits of the rose. Rose absolute is created by submerging the rose petals in a solvent, and letting that solvent dissolve leaving behind the essence of the rose.
This still has the captivating scent of roses, but not as many of the benefits and is used mostly in perfume, soap and candle making.
Book our new “rose ritual” you can call 403-815-8484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mom is Wheel Chair Bound Can she still get a massage?
Yes- most therapists who work with Elderly clients are accustomed to having clients with varying degrees of mobility, in addition through the study of the musculature system the therapist will be able to work with whatever level of range of motion that she has, as well as working with the client to strengthen some muscles with both homework and resistance movements, and also help with swelling in legs and feet that are a problem for anyone with restricted movements.
Does regular Massage effect mood? Can it make one less grumpy or less lonely?
First Massage like all other forms of touch and communication helps with loneliness, for the duration of the session the client is the recipient of focused nurturing touch, there are studies that support this, but who needs a study, it is common sense.
As we age, less and less of the touch that we get is to make us feel good, especially after separation from a spouse, which happens with illness as well as from death. The touch we do get is different too, often prodding or perfunctory, Massage is different, it is focused, usually in an hour session, and it is nurturing.
Second Massage therapy releases hormones in the body, that are the same ones that are released during exercise, falling in love and other great moments. These hormones improve mood, and the effect can last up to 3 days after the massage treatment.
Will Pain be diminished?
Of course! Depending on the type of pain, muscle pain will decrease as muscle tension is released, arthritis pain is improved as increased circulation also causes swelling to go down, the perception of pain is also improved, which links back to the hormones that we talked about, when you feel good pain is just less keenly felt.
Will it help with Sleep?
Usually, massage helps sleep in two ways, one it decreases pain and stiffness, making comfortable sleep more accessible. And second, back to hormones again ( they are real -and can be really good) Massage not only releases the good hormones, but it also decreases cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and we all know that stress and sleep are not good partners, so less stress more sleep. If it works for you, why wouldn’t it work for your mom?
Will Massage Therapy help with Memory Issues
Likely not, you may see some improvement in mood and anxiety associated with memory loss, which can be helpful, but most likely massage will not improve the actual memory.
Ruth is 86 and has Arthritis, otherwise she is healthy for her age, her mind is active, she has friends and lots of interests that keep her as busy as she wants to be, at least on her good days.
On her bad days the pain is not just overwhelming, it is stressful and makes her grumpy, and keeps her inside so she feels like a trapped rat.
Ruth feels some pressure too from her family, she knows that they worry about her and that comes out of love, but the idea of moving away from the home she loves, and the neighborhood she has lived in for 60 years is really distressing.
She has decided she is not moving as long as she can help it; and so when she talks to her kids, she doesn’t want to tell them about her daily struggles, that some days cooking is almost impossible because her hands have no strength in them at all.
Not being able to talk to her kids, especially her daughter about daily struggles makes her feel alone with her problem and lonely, and when she does talk about it she thinks all she ever does is complain, and she is impatient with herself for this.
Her kids aren’t dumb and they know she is struggling, but she is so flipping touchy about it all, it is impossible to bring it up, and because it is hard to talk about it is hard to find solutions.
Her daughter in law, looking for something to give for Mother’s day stumbled on Health Span – mobile massage therapy that would come right to her home, and booked her an appointment.
Massage Therapy for Arthritis Pain and stiffness
The arthritis foundation recommends massage as studies have shown that hand massage not only decreases pain, but it also increases grip strength, and agility. And for arthritis in the knees it improves not just stiffness, range of motion and the ability to walk, but it both decreases pain, and because it improves range of motion and stiffness it also can help prevent falls.
Improves mood and anxiety
Perhaps the most important improvement that happened when Ruth decided to get weekly massage appointments, is her mood began to improve. Once a week she had someone come to her home, and listen to her vent about her pains and aches for a few minutes before she lay down on the table, and was the complete focus of nuturing, caring attention and touch. She told her daughter it was the best she felt all week.
Almost every study that has ever been done on Massage shows improvements in moods and a decreased level of all the yucky hormones that indicate stress and anxiety. And these benefits can last for several days, and are cumulative, so every week when Ruth gets her massage the benefits add up.
Is it a miracle- of course not, there are still bad days, and aging is aging. As time goes on symptoms will change and health will get worse, but Ruth knows that the studies are right, and Massage does make coping day to day easier, she is still grumpy but much less miserable, and feels way, way less lonely.
These are signs that your crown chakra could use a little tweaking, or even a lot. And even the most spiritual aware person has times where things are out of line.
We get pushed off balance by little things as well as big things, and lots of times we convince ourselves that our imbalance is no big deal or the cause of it so minor that we are just over reacting.
A couple of weeks ago I was treating a young man, he had booked a therapeutic massage for neck and shoulder pain, and while we were doing the intake he was talking about a near death experience he had recently while on a trip to Vegas, where he had been hospitalized and forced to stay alone, after his friends caught their scheduled flights home, while Dr.’s sorted him out.
He was fine and felt that he should be grateful: to be alive, to have had insurance, to have friends and family, but he just couldn’t shake the anxiety and apathy that he had felt since his return from the holiday. He felt almost guilty for feeling “off” as it could have been much worse, and so many people were way worse off then him.
We booked him in for Energy Balancing Massage- and every one of his energy centres was off, some a little, some a lot, but his 7th Chakra showed no movement whatsoever, it was completely blocked.
After two sessions all of his emotional symptoms were clear, and he began sending his family and friends in to see us.
A Balanced Crown Chakra is your connection to consciousness
To Balance your Crown with aromatherapy we use the essential oils of the Root chakra which are vetiver, Spike Knot, and bocchini patchouli are good choices. And for Crystals during meditation we use Crystal quartz, amethyst, sodalite and diamonds (if you have some laying around).
You can use the oils in a blend and apply it to the crown of your head, where your Crown Chakra is represented, or add them to a diffuser while you meditate. If using a diffuser be careful to turn it off after an hour so you are not overwhelmed, less is often enough with aromatherapy.
If you sit during mediation, you can also balance a crystal on your head, or place it on a pillow just above your head if you are laying down.
A Balanced Crown Chakra will give you better rest as your body will produce melatonin properly but it will also result in your feeling and being recognized as wise, and in control of your emotions and your destiny, feeling blissful, intuitive, and in sync with your higher purpose. Which is what I wish for you and everyone else.
When you lack inspiration, have trouble concentrating, feel anxious and depressed, it could be that your third eye chakra is not balanced.
This can also have physical symptoms such as migraines, trouble with vision, paranoia, and even sciatica.
Of course your 3rd eye is also the centre of your intuition, and if you feel less intuitive then you used to, or are often making large mistakes in judgement it is also a sign that all is not as it should be, or even could be.
Chakra Balancing Massage-Healing Crystals and Aromatherapy
One of the reasons why I love our energy balancing Massage is that it is so effective at not just balancing each individual energy centre, but also at improving how they all work together.
For our third eye we use the colours of violet and light purples/blue amethyst is the best, but also lapis Lazuli, sappier, and shungite can be used by placing them on your 3rd eye while you meditate or drift off to sleep.
During a balancing Massage your therapist will use a combination of Aromatherapy including some of the following, Patchouli, frankincense, clary sage, sandalwood, juniper and Vetiver, along with the crystals, lymphatic drainage, a pendulum and crystals to improve all of your energy functions, but to also help you choose what you might want to do for self care.
Your Third Eye Chakra
Finding a therapist that can help you balance all of your chakras, and especially your 3rd eye will give you more energy, inspiration, peace and success, as well as helping with eye troubles, migraines, sinuitis and more.
When you have a block in your throat chakra you may notice that you are having trouble expressing your thoughts and feelings, you say things and no one listens, or you don’t say anything at all because you are afraid of the results. In general you will have trouble expressing emotions, and may have a deep fear of being exposed. Or find it hard to stay true to yourself and what you know is right and true.
Known as Soul’s Gate Chakra, it is the first of the spiritual chakra’s and controls communication between your heart and your head.
Or you might have trouble seeking out success for yourself, this can tie into feeling unworthy, or lacking confidence.
Physical signs include frozen shoulder, trouble swallowing, swollen lymph nodes, or problems with your thyroid and parathyroid.
Healing Crystals for the Throat Chakra include:
Lapis Lazuli – pictured above is the stone of friendship and truth as well as boosting awareness and stimulating good judgement, problem solving and wisdom.
Blue Apatite- is a great stone to enhance your personal power and help you achieve your goals, it is also the stone of manifestion and helps with concentration and memory.
Aquamarine- is a stone of course, but also is calming and soothing. During communications it helps with negotiation and compromise. It also helps diminish quarrels among lovers.
Turquoise – Communication is enhanced when you where this stone and it is helpful with leadership and personal protection.
Wearing a necklace of any of these stones, or placing them on your pillow at night, or your throat during mediation will help balance and strengthen your ability to communicate as well as enhance your intuition centre’s and your feelings of personal power.
Aromatherapy is an essential tool for balancing the chakra’s as essential oils work with the vibrational energy of our body and our energy centre’s to enhance and empower our energy, or to tame it down if that is necessary (usually in the Solar Plexus).
Citrus fruits such as Bergamot, lime, lemon, grapefruit and oranges can all be used to open the Throat Chakra, helping you to speak your truth, be heard and stay true to your emotional guidance and intuition.
As always do not put essential oils right onto your skin without first putting them into a carrier oil or a lotion, and do not take them internally. Essential oils are like every other medicinal ingredient and must be treated with respect. It is much better to add a couple drops to an infuser for an hour or so every day, or to consult with a well educated Aromatherapist who can guide you through your choices.
There are a lot of companies out there that sell essential oils, but very few that have an educated staff and who source the ingredients in a thoughtful and conscious way.
Finding balance and health in the Throat Chakra is a key part of personal development, being able to vocalize your emotions, opinions, wisdom, needs and wants is a cornerstone of all other happiness.